Users who rely onbashor xbash will need to install Cygwin themselves.
Q. Will XPS open a (windows) command prompt in context of a project as it opens up bash today?
A. That is a feature of XPS.The capability of opening a Windows Command Shell canbe implemented if required.
Q. Will all utility functions still be available (cp, rm, etc.)?
A. In 12.1, EDK/SDK includes all utilities included with Cygwin, and the list is relatively long. It is proposed to provide native Windows applications from the GNUWin project, which includes overlapping commands (typically found on Unix/Linux distributions) but they may differ in behavior from the versions included with Cygwin. See http://gnuwin32.sourceforge.net/. The goal is to ship a minimal set of Unix commands (use Windows commands where possible), rather than a large or extensive set.
Q. Other than changing paths from /c/* to c:/*, what will the impact of the change on makefiles?
A. Implementations of make can differ, and that may affect syntax and behavior. Initial tests have shown expected behavior in terms of handling of windows and unix paths. Even though GNUWin make can handle a mix of paths, it is advisable to create native windows paths whenever possible.